Thursday, October 18, 2007

Code Pink Clashes with Camo

The SF Chronicle reports from a scene in Berkeley where Code Pink protesters faced off with a Marine Corps recruiting station. This is representative of a tension within the anti-Iraq War movement. Although the recruiters are probably extremely supportive of Bush's policy in Iraq, there are many military personnel who don't feel the same way.

To me, especially because the military is entirely composed of people who choose to be there, this is really significant. By tapping into that pro-military antiwar sentiment, it sort of gives a legitimacy to the movement that it hasn't previously had. In a lot of ways, I feel like the antiwar movement has matured since the 1960s. Those who favor withdrawl draw up well-thought-out plans on how it can be done and carefully weigh the consequences. The movement has acknowledged that the military serves an important role, in a way that the hippie antiwar movement of the 1960s isn't represented (at least as far as I can tell).

But Code Pink positions themselves as radical. They use inflammatory tactics like calling Donald Rumsfeld a "war criminal" (and I acknowledge that these accusations aren't groundless). They try to, as the story from Berkeley shows, shut down a military recruiting station. I've written before about my complicated feelings about Code Pink. Sometimes I find their methods irritating, and I wish they would offer up real alternatives rather than simply calling people war criminals.

Not everyone that serves in the military kills people, but some of them do. Identifying that the military serves a complicated function in our country could go a long way in legitimizing the Code Pink antiwar protesters.


Anonymous said...

"Not everyone in the military kills people." That's true! Their job is provide support for the soldiers who do kill people. I write this as a veteran with two relatives in Iraq. The purpose of the military is to make war. Making war is inflicting pain and death. You criticize Code Pink for not offering solutions. They do offer solutions. Stop the war. Bring the troops home.

Anonymous said...

The military is to defend the country from war not to make it! It only makes war when misused!

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